Jews and Race: A Pre-Boasian Perspective, Part 2

Brenton Sanderson


The Zionist Elias Auerbach viewed Jewish intermarriage as not necessarily a problem providing the endogamous Jewish racial core population remained unpolluted by the taint of non-Jewish blood. The offspring of mixed marriages (Mischlinges) are, he noted, overwhelmingly lost to the Jewish community — leaving the “sacred chain” of Jewish heredity within that community intact. As Kevin MacDonald pointed out in A People that Shall Dwell Alone, this had the eugenic effect of selecting for high levels of ethnocentricity among the remnant Jewish community. Those with low levels of ethnocentricity (manifested in a propensity for intermarriage) were lost to the Jewish community — leaving a hyper-ethnocentric endogamous core behind. Accordingly, Auerbach writes that:

In Germany at present [1903], the rate of Jewish intermarriage is approximately one sixth of pure (rein) Jewish marriages. This number is so large that one would be forced to derive from it a total and imminent dissolution of German Jewry. A genuine intermixture, however, has only really taken place when the offspring of this intermarriage then introduce this foreign blood into the Jewish Volk. Now the fact of the matter is that the overwhelming majority of these offspring of mixed marriages (Mischlinge) withdraw from Jewry both religiously and nationally, shutting themselves off thereby from any union through marriage with the Jewish nation (Stamme der Juden); thus, they remove themselves from the equation, for the most part, when it comes to [our analysis of] racial mixture. The Jewish human material (Menschenmaterial) that we are analyzing from an anthropological viewpoint and that is the foundation of the Jewish race in the progressive movement of history will consequently have altered very little and remains a homogeneous mass; they [the Jews] seldom lose elements to another people through dissolution. A careful and scrupulous authority on this issue, the statistician Arthur Ruppin, estimates the number of offspring of mixed marriages who remain within Jewry to be only 10 percent of all offspring produced by the mixture of Jews and non-Jews in Germany. As to actual mixing of blood, we would thus have to figure that at only 1/60 of the racial stock of German Jews. However, even this small, though nevertheless not infinitesimal, number is valid only for Germany and for a few other countries, in which altogether a very small percentage of the Jewish people (Stamm) live.

If one goes back just a few decades, the number of Jewish intermarriages declines precipitously in relation to the Jewish population overall. In Prussia the number of mixed marriage declines by half, if one goes back twenty years; for the Jewish population in general this occurs only when one goes back sixty years. Before this period, around the turn of the nineteenth century, the intermixing of the Jews [with other peoples] in Europe dwindles almost to the vanishing point. For the entirety of the Middle Ages — and for Jewish racial history, the term “Middle Ages” is valid up until the French Revolution — the number of intermarriages was so minute as to be negligible, the more so as barely any offspring of such marriages mingled their blood with that of Jews. The law of racial isolation of the Jews from the peoples around them in Europe held true for the entire Middle Ages. [Italics in the original] [i] 

Elias Auerbach

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Maurice Fishberg, a Russian-Jewish professor of Medicine and anthropologist who emigrated to the United States in 1889, was far less sanguine than Auerbach about intermarriage, declaring it to be “the final result of the abjuration of nearly everything that has kept the Jews alive among the nations for centuries.” He argued that “Without the separative tenets of its religious practices, Judaism is inconceivable and in danger of extinction through absorption by the surrounding majority of other faiths.”[ii] Fishberg echoed the view of the leading Zionist newspaper in Germany, Die Welt, which in 1897 lamented that: “The greater their [the Jews] distance from the ghetto, the more they will lose their social, anthropological, and racial-hygienic particularities.”[iii] Describing in 1911 how the rate of Jewish intermarriage had significantly increased in Europe, Fishberg was careful to make it clear to his readers that: “It should also be understood that while pointing at the process of the assimilation of the Jews, we by no means advocate their absorption by the surrounding people of different faiths. We do not find it important for the remnants of Israel, or of those around them, that Jewry should commit race suicide.”[iv]

Fishberg was sympathetic to the view of the Zionists who believed that only in their own home, in Palestine, would Jews “be in a position to save the remnants of Israel.”[v] He notes that

to the Zionists, the Jews are a distinct non-European race which has preserved itself in its original purity in spite of the Jews’ wanderings all over the globe. They [the Zionists] hold that the Jews can never merge with the European races and are bound to remain distinct from their Christian and Mohammedan neighbors. The Jewish problem can therefore not be solved by emancipation, as is evident in Western Europe, where they still have troubles after one hundred years of freedom and political equality. Nor will emigration solve the problem of the Jews in countries where they suffer from political oppression. “Like the previous migration of Jews, it has produced fresh trouble,” says the Zionists in an “Official Statement to the Christian World [1907].” “These large numbers of poor Jews, are, at best, not welcome in the places to which they migrate. Their immigration is not that merely of an alien people who, whatever temporary inconvenience may be caused by their arrival, will soon merge in the general population of their new home. The immigration of Jews is different. They form or augment a body differentiated from the general population.” They object to assimilation. “With whom is the Jew of Eastern Europe to assimilate if he is to assimilate at all? Clearly not with the Russian muzhik or the Galician or Polish peasant. But this is a proposal that a superior race shall be absorbed by a greatly inferior, a stronger by a weaker, a sober by a particularly unsober one, and is altogether contrary to the course of race absorption. The Jew has no mean opinion of the status of his race in the world. Purer than most, it is one of the oldest; its preservation is part, a great part, of his religious belief. He does not readily yield to it even to advance civilization.[vi]

Nevertheless, Fishberg realized that the very existence of Zionism effectively confirmed the view of those who saw the Jews and an alien and hostile presence in Europe. This alien and hostile presence created a “Jewish problem” that directly gave rise to the “Jewish question” of how the Jewish problem should be solved. He writes:

On the one hand we have those Jews who take great pride in the purity of their breed, and, on the other, the people among whom they live who see a peculiar peril in the prospect of indefinitely harboring an alien race which is not likely to mix with the general population. This apprehension is confirmed by the Jewish nationalists, who look for repatriation to Palestine, or some other territory, thus corroborating the opinion that they are aliens in Europe, encamped for the time being, and waiting for an opportunity to retreat to their natural home in Asia.[vii]


Agreeing with most European anthropologists of the time, the Austrian-Jewish anthropologist and physician Ignaz Zollschan believed that race mixing was a bad idea which would inevitably lead to the degeneration of the superior racial party to the admixture. He cited historical examples to bolster his position, noting how 

the observations made in countries which have a population of half-breeds have pointed to the unfavorable effect of crossing. … We also know very well the wretched conditions of Central and South America, which are inhabited by half-breeds whose cultural stagnation stands in striking contrast to the rapid and ambitious development of the United States and Canada. It is certain that the conditions in Central and South America must, to some extent, be considered as a result of race crossing. It is true also in North America [that] the population arose from a blending of various nationalities. But here it was chiefly Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards, Dutchmen, and Germans; that is to say, nations that were closely related to one another, who were amalgamated; whereas in South America it was Spaniards, Indians, Negroes, and Mongolians who formed affinities. Colonization in newly discovered countries has always succeeded in those places where, like in North America, the conquering nations have avoided crossing [with the indigenous peoples]. In Brazil, on the other hand, there rules an indescribable mixed type whose bodily, intellectual, and moral energy is exceedingly enfeebled. The natives of South Africa have a proverb: ‘God created the white man, God created the black man, but the devil created the mulatto.’[viii]

Based on these and many other examples, Zollschan concludes that “all investigations thus point to the ennobling influences of racial purity, and the destructive effects of racial chaos.”[ix] He was also eager to point out that “We have proved by our investigations that the Jews have racial purity, and that an extraordinarily high racial value falls to their share.”[x] Accordingly, Jewish intermarriage, as well as being the negation of the essence of Judaism, is likely to diminish the high racial value that he ascribed to the Jews. Alfred Nossig shared this view and noted that

numerous generations of thinkers and communal leaders have bred [gezüchtet] a [Jewish] Volk characterized by pure blood, not poisoned by venereal disease or alcohol; a Volk that has a marked sense of family, a deeply rooted habituation to the virtuous life, an unusual intellectual dexterity, and an ideal spirituality. Therefore, it was self-evidently necessary to establish strict guidelines to protect these foremost ethical treasures from annihilation through intermixture with less carefully bred races. The prohibition on intermarriage ensured that the primary component in racial formation, heredity, could operate at the height of its potential and power; not only did the positive qualities referred to above get passed on undiminished from generation to generation, but — thanks to endogamy, or inbreeding — they were constantly increased. That is what it took for the Volk that Ibsen called “the nobility of mankind” to emerge.[xi]

On the other hand, Jewish race-mixing reverses, and ultimately extinguishes, the genetic fruits of centuries of eugenic practices that have forged the supposedly superior qualities of the Jewish people. In an article entitled Successes of the Jews in Capitalistic Enterprise, Arthur Ruppin (1913) maintained that the anti-Semitic environment of medieval Europe created selection pressures that honed the “formidable” intellectual resources of the Jews. He insisted that “the continual persecutions and restrictions acted as a sort of natural selection by which the less cunning and resourceful Jews were removed, and only the very cleverest – those who could extricate themselves from the greatest difficulties – were able to survive.”[xii] Ruppin compares the Diaspora Jew favorably with the typical German Christian:

In the struggle for life, besides intellectual gifts, the industry, versatility, and powers of adaptation of the Jew stand him in good stead. The Jew does not despair if one of his enterprises fails; he begins straight away with another. If he should be altogether unsuccessful in one calling, he is ready at once to take up another. In this he is totally unlike the German Christian, for example, who is slow to change his vocation, but similar to the North American, who also changes his profession without the slightest hesitation. The adaptability of the Jew is shown also in another direction; he changes his manner of living according to circumstances, without in the least being upset by the change. Thus he can exist on less than the European Christian, and yet not be satisfied with the best that money can buy. This is due to the fact that the Jew, unlike, let us say, the German peasant, has no fixed standard of life; he is always in a state of uncertain equilibrium, always pushing forward, never satisfied, whereas the Christian is usually content when he has arrived at the standard of his class.[xiii]

Alfred Nossig was another Jewish intellectual who underscored the positive eugenic effects that he thought Jewish survival in the European Diaspora inevitably entailed, whereby

the struggle for perpetual existence, which was a commandment for chosenness as well, engendered a selective breeding that is almost unequalled in human history. In the struggle for existence of the [Jewish] nation — convulsed as it has been to its core by fire and sword, by the severest economic and moral pressures, and by the constant allurement of desertion — only those individuals who were intellectually and spiritually the strongest and physically fittest survived and reproduced; those who, to the greatest degree, did not place the existence of the Jewish people in danger, but who possessed the art or skill of adaptation. And thus, up until today, the Jewish Volk is taken to be the most skilled at adaptation.[xiv]

An editorial in the Zionist newspaper Die Welt in 1912 entitled On the Jewish Racial Question likewise propagated the notion that advantageous Jewish racial traits were the fruits of the Jewish struggle for survival in the Diaspora, pointing out that “such [Jewish racial] traits are to be explained by the centuries-long difficult struggle for existence, together with the intimate cohesion of their original or primary living space. The Diaspora, in contrast, stimulated their mental agility and the other acknowledged Jewish traits.”[xv] Counterbalancing this allegedly superior intellect of the Jews, the neurologist Abraham Myerson noted their relatively higher susceptibility for neurosis and various other psychopathological conditions. For Myerson this tendency was likely the unfortunate, but unavoidable, flipside of “Jewish genius.” He writes:

It is idle, of course, to deny that the Jew has an innate character, different from that of other races, which perhaps predisposes him to psychoneuroses and other mental diseases. Unquestionably deeply emotional, clinging to belief and opinion with a capacity unparalleled in the history of the world, extremely active mentally, and in point of intellectual achievement to be compared only with the great races of the world, he is curiously passive in his resistance and curiously indomitable in his hold on life and success. Accused of materialism and yet furnishing proportionately more social reformers than any other race; accused of materialism and yet responsible for the two most ethical religions in the world; said to be dominated by love of gain, but the birthplace of the ethics that govern his accusers, the Western peoples; a race of contradictions, inconsistencies, strongly individualistic and extraordinary social, it may well be that such a soil would produce great failure as well as great success, psychoneurosis as well as genius.[xvi]

Abraham Myerson

For Myerson it was this Jewish intellectual superiority, rather than their ingroup-oriented morality and behavior, which was the primary cause of European anti-Semitism, insisting that “with the downfall of the Roman Empire the Jews and Arabs alone kept the torch of culture and science lit. In other words, the Jew was easily superior in these matters [science and culture] to his uncouth warrior-like hosts. This superiority brought about a jealousy, fear of the ability of the Jew; a fear that has never been stilled, though the culture of the Western races has reached a very high plane; a fear that yet actuates most of the hostile feelings of neighboring races.”[xvii] Ignaz Zollschan argued that Jewish endogamy benefited the whole world by preserving the superior Jewish racial traits he held to be an asset for all mankind:

Now let us … accept provisionally the hypothesis of Jewish racial superiority. From this fact, and from the additional consideration that, generally, it would have to be the common pursuit of all to reach the highest possible level of culture for the sake of the totality of human civilization, it would follow that it would be deemed that it would be deemed valuable to retain the integrity of the [Jewish] race.[xviii]

On the other hand, Zollschan, who was active in Zionist politics, readily acknowledged the existence of the “racial question” which, he believed, consisted of the way “the racial factor is significant for historical and cultural development.”[xix] He regarded “the Jewish racial problem, as that in which the Jewish Question culminates,” and as being inseparable from the “vast problem of race in general.”[xx] The Jewish Question was, for Zollschan, ultimately “a question of the principle of ‘inheritance,’ of ‘immutability’ of ‘specific racial traits.’”[xxi] He writes that

when it comes to the racial politics within Europe, we are dealing in essence with a struggle of Germans versus Romanen [that is French, Italians and Spanish] as well as the struggle of Germans against Slavs, and the struggle of all the above against Jews. This latter opposition, between Aryans and non-Aryans, manifests itself in the sphere of European foreign affairs as a political opposition against the “black” and “yellow” dangers outside [of the continent]. For Europe the classic representatives of the Aryan and non-Aryan indeed are the Teutons and the Jews.[xxii]

Zollschan posited that “insofar as one cannot escape from the general interest taken in the Jewish Question, the issue ought to be considered by posing the following questions:

  1. Are the Jews economically and culturally harmful, insignificant, or useful to the countries in which they reside?
  2. Is there a homogeneous Jewish race, and, if so, does it possess distinct traits that determine its historical trajectory for all eternity?”[xxiii]

A century on, these questions remain as pertinent as ever. One Jewish trait which the essays and articles in Jews and Race consistently evince is hyper-ethnocentrism, as reflected in the tendency for Jewish intellectual activity to become enmeshed with Jewish ethno-political activism. This trait continues to distort Jewish contributions to the social sciences. Another conspicuous trait is hypocrisy. One increasingly prominent example with this trait is how, with population genetic studies confirming that Jews comprise a distinct genetic community, Jewish intellectuals and activists have engaged in a double game where racialist thinking is tacitly permitted as a means of enhancing Jewish group cohesion, while White people who invoke the same racialist arguments continue to be pathologized. As Kevin MacDonald points out: “Jews will continue to attempt to have their cake and eat it too on the issue of concern for genetic continuity as they have on all the other issues related to multiculturalism and Israel: Support for massive non-White immigration and opposition to White identity and interests in America and other Western societies while supporting an ethnonationalist, apartheid state in Israel and taking steps to ensure Jewish genetic continuity in the Diaspora.”

In response to the de-racializing anti-White ideologies which currently hold White people in a racial death grip, we need to find new ways to invoke “blood logic” as a way of defining and maintaining White group identity. Recent population genetic and human biodiversity studies have good potential, properly used, to rekindle the racial feeling of our people and thereby foster White ethnocentrism and group cohesion. If White Nationalism is to ultimately succeed in any meaningful way, we must reclaim the elevated racial self-conception and pride that was normative for White people in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Of course, breaking the Judeo-Marxist media monopoly will be an essential prerequisite to this achievement.


Auerbach, E. (1907) ‘The Jewish Racial Question,’ In: Jews and Race: Writings on Identity and Difference 1880-1940, Ed. Mitchell B. Hart, Brandeis University Press, Waltham, Massachusetts. 207-218.

Fishberg, M. (1911) ‘Assimilation versus Zionism: Except from Jews, Race and Environment,’ In: Jews and Race: Writings on Identity and Difference 1880-1940, Ed. Mitchell B. Hart, Brandeis University Press, Waltham, Massachusetts. 297-302.

Fishberg, M. (1911) ‘Preface from Jews, Race and Environment,’ In: Jews and Race: Writings on Identity and Difference 1880-1940, Ed. Mitchell B. Hart, Brandeis University Press, Waltham, Massachusetts. 60-64.

Fishberg, M. (1913) ‘Intermarriage between Jews and Christians,’ In: Jews and Race: Writings on Identity and Difference 1880-1940, Ed. Mitchell B. Hart, Brandeis University Press, Waltham, Massachusetts. 237-241.

Meyerson, A. (1920) ‘The “Nervousness” of the Jew,’ In: Jews and Race: Writings on Identity and Difference 1880-1940, Ed. Mitchell B. Hart, Brandeis University Press, Waltham, Massachusetts. 175-183.

Nossig, A. (1905) ‘The Chosenness of the Jews in the Light of Biology,’ In: Jews and Race: Writings on Identity and Difference 1880-1940, Ed. Mitchell B. Hart, Brandeis University Press, Waltham, Massachusetts. 259-267.

Ruppin, A. (1913) ‘Successes of the Jews in Capitalistic Enterprise,’ In: Jews and Race: Writings on Identity and Difference 1880-1940, Ed. Mitchell B. Hart, Brandeis University Press, Waltham, Massachusetts. pp. 201-204.

Unsigned editorial from Die Welt (1912) ‘On the Jewish Racial Question,’ In: Jews and Race: Writings on Identity and Difference 1880-1940, Ed. Mitchell B. Hart, Brandeis University Press, Waltham, Massachusetts. 306-310.

Unsigned editorial from Die Welt (1912) ‘The Racial Identity of the Jews,’ In: Jews and Race: Writings on Identity and Difference 1880-1940, Ed. Mitchell B. Hart, Brandeis University Press, Waltham, Massachusetts. 303-306.

Zollschan, I. (1909) ‘Foreword and Introduction from The Racial Problem, with Particular Attention Paid to the Theoretical Foundations of the Jewish Racial Question,’ In: Jews and Race: Writings on Identity and Difference 1880-1940, Ed. Mitchell B. Hart, Brandeis University Press, Waltham, Massachusetts. 255-285.

Zollschan, I. (1914) ‘The Significance of the Mixed Marriage,’ In: Jews and Race: Writings on Identity and Difference 1880-1940, Ed. Mitchell B. Hart, Brandeis University Press, Waltham, Massachusetts. 226-237.


[i] Auerbach, pp. 209-210

[ii] Fishberg 1913, p. 237

[iii] Die Welt p. 304

[iv] Fishberg 1911, p. 63

[v] Ibid. p. 61

[vi] Fishberg 1913, pp. 297-298

[vii] Fishberg 1911, pp. 61-62

[viii] Zollschan 1914, pp. 232-233

[ix] Ibid. p. 234

[x] Ibid. p. 236

[xi] Nossig, p. 265

[xii] Ruppin, p. 203

[xiii] Ibid. p. 204

[xiv] Nossig, p. 265

[xv] Unsigned editorial from Die Welt 1912, p. 309

[xvi] Myerson, p. 177

[xvii] Ibid. p. 177-178

[xviii] Zollschan 1909, p. 283

[xix] Ibid. p. 277

[xx] Ibid. p. 278

[xxi] Ibid. p. 282

[xxii] Ibid. p. 278

[xxiii] Ibid. p. 279

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